Providing Examples Illustration
Illustration • Examples help people visualize and remember the point • Who, what, what, where, when, how, why? • What makes you think so? • Can you show me?
Use Examples to Explain • The irony of the emphasis being placed on careers is that nothing is more valuable for anyone who has had a professional or vocational education than to be able to deal with abstractions or complexities, or to feel comfortable with subtleties of though or language, or to think sequentially. The doctor who knows only disease is at a disadvantage alongside the doctor who knows at least as much about people as he [or she] does about pathological organisms. The lawyer who argues in court from a narrow legal base is no match for the lawyer who can connect legal precedents to historical experience and who employs wide-ranging intellectual resources. The business executive whose competence in general management is bolstered by an artistic ability to deal with people is of prime value to his [or her] company. For the technologist, the engineering of consent can be just as important as the engineering of moving parts. In all these respects, the liberal arts have much to offer. Just in terms of career preparation, therefore, [students are shortchanging themselves] by shortcutting the humanities. • - Norman Cousins
Use Examples to Make a Point • Acid rain indirectly threatens human health. Besides containing damaging chemicals, acid rain percolates through the soil, leaching out naturally present heavy metals, such as arsenic and mercury. Surface runoff then carries these po9llutants into streams, lakes, and ponds, where they accumulate permanently in the fatty tissue of fish. In turn, any organisms eating the fish – or drinking the water – build up these poisons in their own body issue. Moreover, acidified water can release strong concentrations of lead, copper, and aluminum from metal plumbing, making ordinary tap water hazardous. Even in the tiniest amounts, the gradual ingestion of these heavy metals has been shown to cause cancer, birth defects, and a host of other ailments. • Billy Kelly
Illustration as a Primary Essay Strategy • Read and review “All You Can Eat” on p. 201-203 • What are the specific and concrete examples she provides?
Guidelines for Illustrating with Examples • Fit the examples to your purpose and the readers’ needs • Use brief or extended examples • Make the example more specific and concrete than the point it illustrates • Arrange examples in a series in an accessible order • Know how much is enough • Explain how the example fits the point • Be explicit; don’t leave it to the reader to make the connection you intend